What are some communist films in Assamese
The inevitable motto in the traffic of this rushing city and therefore not a bad helmet slogan.
One of the many gifts that our Bengali companion, the translator Subroto Saha, gave us was a bilingual Bengali-English edition of Rabindranath Tagore's volume of poetry Gitanjali, for whom Tagore was the only Indian - and the only translator (the translation into English, on the basis of which the Stockholm Academy made its decision, came from Tagore himself) to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Tagore is still very much revered in India today. Every year on his birthday, hundreds make a pilgrimage to the family's former residence, which is now a museum.
Just under a quarter of the city's residents are Muslim, and there are around 450 mosques in Kolkata.
Clinged to fences, gutters and bicycles, laid out on car roofs, on lines stretched from everywhere to everywhere - laundry hung up to dry is an omnipresent sight in the city.
In the humid tropical air, however, the clothes dry only slowly and with difficulty.
A pragmatic double life: Road King and tumble dryer.
Thugs of Hindustan
The Indian film industry produces in different cultures and languages. The films are then sold in other parts of the country and dubbed e.g. in Bengali, Hindi, English or Tamil.
An estimated 80,000 stray dogs live in Kolkata, all of which look amazingly alike, beige-brown with whipping tails and pointed, drooping ears. And they are very peaceful, often lying asleep on boxes or in the middle of the sidewalk; and they are well fed, for they are well looked after by the townspeople.
Buses, taxis, Ubers, cars, auto rickshaws, trams, cycle rickshaws, scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, rickshaws, handcarts and pedestrians are shooting through the streets. The horn is honked, the doorbell rings, cleverly dodged. Obviously, it is still possible to find a deep calm during the break or while waiting for new customers.
The festival of lights and the start of the new year. The city is colorfully decorated, the night shines - even more extensive and colorful than usual - flashing motif boards are driven to all corners of the city and set up for the celebrations. "Happy Diwali!"
Booksellers on College Street
Kolkata has a long cultural and literary tradition and was, for example, the center of the Bengali Renaissance at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. College Street is home to universities, publishers, and hundreds of bookstores. The book trade in Kolkata seems to be primarily a men's business.
If you ask about a certain book that is not in stock, an errand boy is sent to ask the other sellers until he locates the book. With a little wait, you get the title you're looking for without having to go through hundreds of stalls yourself.
You enter the holy places such as temples and mosques barefoot and leave your shoes on the threshold. This happens on the one hand for hygienic reasons, because you often sit down on the floor, but it is also a sign of trust with which you go to the house of God. The stones and slabs that we stepped on with our bare feet were always surprising and pleasantly warm.
Public water points are part of the basic supply in the city for all those who do not have a water connection. Drinking water freely accessible and available to everyone. In some areas, the spots only offer water at certain hours of the day, in others around the clock. A drinking water system with purified water from the Ganges was introduced by the English in the 19th century. A heated debate broke out over this. Since the water of the Ganges is considered holy, the filtering made the holy water desecrated.
Goddess of death and destruction and renewal and closely associated with the city whose name resonates in the name of the city. Kali is often portrayed with the tongue sticking out, which is not a sign of cheek or rebellion, but on the contrary a sign of shame. In a fit of anger, she is said to have stepped on her husband Shiva and was seriously affected.
In Bengal, sticking out the tongue is a common gesture of apology.
Left-hand traffic, the English language, school uniforms, Christian churches - the signs of the former colonial power are manifold in this city, which was once called Calcutta, and which is based on the name of the Bengali fishing village of Kolikata, from which the city grew in the 17th century. Renamed Kolkata in 2011.
Traces of communism
From 1977 to 2011 West Bengal was ruled by a communist party. The portrait of Marx is still common today.
Official signage is usually trilingual, Bengali, English and Hindi. The language diversity is of course much greater, the languages spoken include Urdu, Tamil, Chinese, Assamese, Nepali, Persian and Arabic, among many others.
Toledo in Kolkata
Tired and flooded with stimuli, with stomachs filled with the Bengali dinner and inspired palates, we stroll through the warm night towards the longed-for sleep.
Tropical night by taxi
At night, the damp warmth hangs and muffles the colors. A feeling of darkness never really arises, this is prevented by the yellow taxis, which are of course also on the move at night, and certainly also the noise mixture of voices, engines, horns and - on the celebrations of Kali Puja and Diwali - exploding, glowing fireworks.
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